2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Who is buying homes for sale in Bergen County? You can find the answer in the National Association of Realtors annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. The NAR has been publishing it’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers for 37 years now; this has become a very important and anticipated report.
It gives you a tremendous amount of information that’s both valuable and interesting. Because you get a good insight into the market it is a big help for anyone buying or selling real estate.
The report starts with these basic key points about buying a home:
- Buying a home is both a financial and an emotional decision
- The desire to own a home is the #1 reason why people move
- Lifestyle changes are other strong reasons
- Purchasing a home is often your biggest financial decision
These points are mostly well known but not everyone understands all the lifestyle reasons for moving. Job changes fuel the relocation industry. It’s a huge reason why people move but space and family changes are important reasons too. I have many customers who need more room for growing families and others who want to downsize. Families add babies or children leave changing your needs in housing too. Because of all this the reasons people move are varied. The #1 reason why people say they moved when they did is because they felt it was the right time.
Home Buyer Characteristics
Although the NAR report is for New Jersey, it applies to Bergen County too. I did find some areas where my experience is different and I’ll call your attention to this. Here is a review of who is buying homes for sale in Bergen County –
First time home buyers make up 39% of the market and I’d certainly agree with that. However, my experience has been that buyers are primarily 30-40 years old. Entry level condos and coops attract younger buyers and the luxury market often sees 40-45 year old buyers. Again, this is what I’ve seen over the years. The NAR report has the average buyer age age at 50 which is puzzling at best to me. It’s so inconsistent with what we see in Bergen County that I really thought it was a mistake. Oh well.
Because we continue to have strong 1st time home buyer demand, the market is strong. I’ve always said first time buyers are the first cog in the wheel that moves the real estate engine. If you don’t have 1st time buyers, the market stalls out.
Let’s look at the breakdown of these buyers –
- 56% married couples
- 24% single females
- 9% single males
- 8% unmarried couples
Two major influences in what people buy are taking parents in and adult children staying at home or coming back. As a result, multi generational housing is becoming more popular. For example, a bi level style house lends itself well to adult children who can literally have their own apartment downstairs. Ranches are great to have mom and day stay with you. This is cheaper for many than sending them to assisted living. Multi generational home buyers are now 13% of the market.
The report confirmed what my customers have told me. For those who had the choice of a new or used home, those buying new homes wanted to avoid renovations and future problems while those buying used homes were focused on getting the best value.
How far do people move? Within 15 miles. That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? It isn’t when you consider that from one end of Bergen County to another it’s roughly 20 miles. 15 miles isn’t as far as you’d think.
Single family home buyers make up 75% of the market. That makes sense because we have many condo and coop choices as well as 1-4 family homes. Bergen County really answers every need.
More and more buyers use agents or builder’s agents to purchase. Buyers see websites and their agent as the best source of information although websites score a bit higher than agents do on that score. Photos are still #1 with them followed by detailed house information. They spend 10-12 weeks looking online and with an agent and actually see 12 homes with their agent before making their decision. Because buyers do so much online (92% search online for a home) they are more educated than buyers who came before them. This is why they don’t spend months and months looking. They’re more ready and they often go out to open houses for a while before getting serious.
I hope this gives you a better idea of who is buying homes for sale in Bergen County. If you’d like a copy of the report on home buyers, just let me know and I’ll send it on to you.